A new report out of Korea today claims that Apple is going to be discontinuing production of the iPhone 5 this fall, transferring all of its efforts to its next generation flagship handset, the iPhone 5S, and the long-rumored ‘budget iPhone.’

Citing ‘industry partners’ with knowledge of the situation, ETNews is reporting this afternoon that Apple has asked its supply chain partners to wind down iPhone 5 production. And, according to the report, it plans to halt it altogether this fall…

The move would certainly mark a major departure from Apple’s usual routine, as the company has in years past kept the previous two generations of its smartphone in production alongside its new handset. But perhaps it doesn’t need to this time.

iPhone 5 presser (Phil Schiller, iPhone family prices)

Look at the current iPhone lineup. Apple sells the iPhone 5 starting at $199, the iPhone 4S at $99 and offers the iPhone 4 for free (with contracts of course). Maybe, though, Apple feels it can reach the low-end markets with its new budget iPhone.

But today’s report says Apple’s reasoning for discontinuing the iPhone 5 is just as much of a production strategy as it is anything else. ETNews says that the in-cell tech used in the iPhone 5’s touchscreen isn’t suitable for “low volume” production.

That’s odd, because the iPhone 5S is widely expected to be an almost exact replica of its predecessor, with only internal changes. But again, maybe Apple is confident enough in the budget iPhone’s future that it’s changing stuff up to accommodate it.

Here’s a hands-on video with what is believed to be the budget iPhone’s plastic shell:

For those who haven’t been keeping up with the low cost iPhone reports, they’ve all been very consistent, pointing to a device made of plastic and metal. The design resembles the iPhone 5, with rounded edges, and it’s believed to be priced around $300.

Needless to say, it’s expected to be a huge hit.

So what does all of this mean? It’s hard to say. While I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple discontinue the iPhone 4 and 4S this year—as it moves towards an all-Lightning lineup—it’s hard to imagine that it’d discontinue its most popular (by far) handset.

But hey, I guess that’s what speculation is for. What do you think, does Apple keep or get rid of the iPhone 5 this year?

  • “iPhone 5′s touchscreen isn’t suitable for “low volume” production.”

    “That’s odd, because the iPhone 5S is widely expected to be an almost exact replica of its predecessor”

    Perhaps these rumours of patents showing the fingerprint sensor being behind the actual touch screen may have some truth?

  • Burge

    Drop the i5 ..it think someone has been smoking wacky backy..as for th 4/4s just the 4 will be dropped. The budget iphone is ment to be just that a budget phone..it’ll be striped down ie no Siri no FaceTime and I’ll don’t think it will get iCloud or even iMessage.

    • Raanor

      Perhaps I could see them not having Siri in the budget iPhone, lowering the specs of the hardware may not allow it to function. However, if they did not have FaceTime, iCloud or (especially) iMessage I would expect nothing less than outrage. There is no reason these would not be present in a budget iPhone, without them its hardly an iPhone.

      • Burge

        How can there be outrage on a budget iphone ? The phone will still get the App Store and iTunes Store , it will even get less ram and less storage ..need to keep the cost down to make it a budget iphone. Just by putting it in a plastic case doesn’t mean it’s going to have the same specs or even better specs as , lets say the i4s

      • Raanor

        I’m going to quote another comment made to OP from Danibal59 – “highly doubt it, those are all integral features of iOS, especially iMessage, and iCloud” this was the point that i was trying to say. I’d think it’d equivalent power to that of an iPod Touch.

      • Burge

        It needs to be a bare bones iphone any budget iphone can not compete with the full blown iphone and just having a less pixal camare is not enough even a cheaper case is not enough..retina display yes they are made for the i5 now. Siri no I can not see it . As for face time no front camare no FaceTime that all apple use that camera for

    • Sean Cua

      it will probably get something as strong as A5 and will still have Siri. Probably the camera would be the same as what the iPod Touch has.

      • mehrab

        The a5 is twice the quad core tegra 3 so. I dont see that happeing

    • Danibal59

      highly doubt it, those are all integral features of iOS, especially iMessage, and iCloud

  • pauleebe

    Duh. $0 and $99 options to the budget device.

  • Maxim∑

    I assume the budget iPhone will be a plastic iPhone 5

  • oralarts

    No way. Not gonna happen.

    In the interest of credibility, I’m not an “analyst”.

  • Jacob S

    Yeah they going to stop iPhone 5 manufacturing and going to reintroduce 3GS as they have still leftover displays even after using them on iPad mini. Anything else?

  • production of iPhone 5S, iPhone 5 and Budget iPhone at the “free” pricetag would make more sense.

  • Boss

    I don’t think so I think they’re just going to make 4 inch screens only and bigger

  • Phil Randle

    There is a couple of things that could happen if this is true:

    – Like one of the guys here said, the entire build of this ‘Plastic iPhone’ looks like an iPhone 5, so maybe they are using a traditional 4″ touch screen on that, hence why its thicker.

    – The reason for the manufacturing issues could be for the fingerprint sensor if their is one, or maybe the rumour of a slightly bigger screen is true also.

  • sivkai

    “A new report out of Korea”

    Hmm, the country raises eyebrows… *cough* Samsung *cough* :p

  • Heitor Castro 

    Does it make any sense? Really? What’s gonna happen to de iPhone 4/4S? Would Apple kill this awesome iPhone 5 design instead a budget/plastic iPhone? Can’t believe any word said by an “analyst”.

  • chris125

    I think this is going along with rumors as why they don’t want retina in the iPad mini because it will eat into their full size iPad sales even more. The lower priced offerings on contract let apple hit a market of those who don’t need the latest and greatest and wanted to save some money. This really doesn’t make sense unless they plan on offering the cheaper iPhone on the carriers as well and not just contract free. Then again I’m sure it might turn people who bought the older models off since they may not want a “plastic phone” that everyone tried to bash Samsung for.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Dont believe in rumors until apple officially announce/unveil it.

  • Swifity

    Keep the iPhone 5.

  • Lobo555

    Harddddd to believe specially with the 5 doing so well

  • felixtaf

    Only reason we listen to these (fake?, rumour?) news’ is that we cant wait until the fall!

  • Hwang Lee

    There’s no way that they’re going to discontinue the 5.

    I love Android (not here to bash on iOS BTW), but the thing that turns most people off to the S4 is the plastic back.

    If they discontinued the 5, that’d be a big mistake.

  • Jay Mac

    The thing that confuses me, and maybe someone can explain it, is this budget iPhone with possible no contract. At this point in the game that will work for other countries that don’t have contracts. But as far as the states. That will kind of only work for TMobile at this point no? I can’t see AT&T and VZW letting people walk in and not get a contract. They can’t even get rid of the fees for the phone in their Next and Edge services. So who’s to say they won’t make people get a contract with a device that “shouldn’t” have a contract?

  • Reynold Andika

    trust me, the specs will be just like iphone 4s and ipod touch 5.. a5 chip devices.. come to think of that, a5 chip is the most longlive chip apple have made to this date.. still used and capable of doing anything lol

    • Reynold Andika

      i want to add,, smart move from apple.. they can sell it as expensive as iphone 4s (0 dollar with contracts in the future), not selling iphone 5, and the cost of creating the budget iphone is cheaper than iphone 4s itself.. smart

  • Adham

    But if they will drop the iPhone 5, they have to drop 4 and 4S too…

    • Siggi

      They didn’t drop the iPad 2 when they dropped the iPad 3.

  • leart za jmi

    who is spreading rumors about iphone, north or south korea?

  • Adil Hussain

    Its more likely that the iPhone 4 will be discontinued tbh

  • Toon

    maybe they quit iphone 5 because the new iphone will have larger screen?

  • blastingbigairs

    Waiting to get the 5 at a discount once the 5s is released, I hope the hell not!!!!

  • ☁⚡Bläzé4President⚡☁

    If i’m selling a budget phone why would i continue to make a non budget phone also budget ? lol especially when the 5s is probably going to have the same design . if it happens it shouldn’t be that surprising . this plastic iphone 5 will have to do .

  • galdamita

    Well from now on I’ll have a limited edition iphone 5